PatentNext Takeaway:  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued examination guidance regarding patentability for artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted inventions. The guidance states that AI-assisted inventions are not “category unpatentable.” Instead, when a natural person provides a “significant contribution” to an invention, such an invention can be patentable even if an AI system contributed to the invention. While the guidance does not constitute law, it is grounded in law, i.e., the Federal Circuit’s so-called Pannu factors, which serve as a test for ensuring that a natural person contributed, at least in part, to the conception of the invention as required in the Federal Circuit’s Thaler decision on AI inventorship. The guidance also provides several useful guidelines and examples to help patent practitioners determine what constitutes a “significant contribution” for purposes of establishing natural person inventorship and, thus, patentability for AI-assisted inventions.  Continue Reading The U.S. Patent Office provides Inventorship Guidance for AI-Assisted Inventions

PatentNext Takeaway:  Demonstrating that a claimed invention provides an “improvement” to an underlying computing device is one of the best ways to achieve patent eligibility pursuant to Section 101 of U.S. Patent Law. However, the Federal Circuit has repeatedly held that an improvement to a “User Experience” (UX) alone is insufficient. The Federal Circuit recently issued yet another case, further cementing its position that improving a UX, without more, fails to demonstrate a technical improvement for satisfying Section 101 per the Alice two-part test.

****Continue Reading Improving a User Experience (UX) Alone Does Not Demonstrate a Technical Improvement for Demonstrating Patent Eligibility Satisfying Section 101

PatentNext Takeaway: The President’s recent Executive Order (EO) regarding artificial intelligence (AI) addresses, among other things, intellectual property (IP). The EO directs the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and U.S. Copyright Office to provide guidance and recommendations on IP issues of patent inventorship, patent eligibility, and copyright authorship in view of Artificial Intelligence (AI). While the guidance and recommendations will not have the force of law, they are nonetheless expected to include data and insights from stakeholders that could form a basis for future legislation and/or provide persuasive information as AI-related cases find their way into U.S. courts.  Continue Reading Intellectual Property (IP) impacts from President Biden’s Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

PatentNext Takeaway: To date, the Federal Circuit has not reviewed many cases involving artificial intelligence (AI). However, in a recent case, the Federal Circuit found that a “machine learning” claim element lacked sufficient enablement because both the claim itself and the written description of the patent to which it belonged failed to describe “how” the claimed invention implemented this element.  In view of this ruling, patent practitioners should endeavor to explain sufficiently in the written description the specific aspects of how machine learning features (and other computer-implemented invention features) operate in order to demonstrate sufficient enablement.Continue Reading The Federal Circuit hints at Enablement requirements for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Inventions

I am excited to announce the publication of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)’s article on “IP Aspects of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Technologies.” Continue Reading Announcing AIPLA article on Augmented Reality(AR) / Virtual Reality(VR): IP Aspects of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Technologies

I am excited to announce the publication of the Intellectual Property Owner (IPO)’s white paper on “Software and Medical Device Guidance: A Global Perspective.”

The paper was authored by the IPO’s Software and Medical Device Subcommittee, which I had the honor and pleasure of leading in 2022. The Subcommittee reports to the IPO’s Software Committee. Continue Reading Announcing IPO white paper on a Global Perspective on Software and Medical Device Guidance 

PatentNext Summary: Following the August 2022 Federal Circuit decision in Thaler v. Vidal, 43 F.4th 1207 (Fed. Cir. 2022), in which the court ruled that artificial intelligence (AI) could not be an inventor by itself, the USPTO has now requested comments regarding AI and inventorship. Continue Reading USPTO Request for Comments on AI as an Inventor

PatentNext Summary: Artificial Intelligence (AI) typically involves certain common aspects such as training data and AI models trained from that training data. Nonetheless, a recent Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision found that it is not always obvious to combine these common aspects to render an AI-based medical device invention unpatentable.Continue Reading PTAB finds Artificial Intelligence (AI) Medical Device Patent not so Obvious

PatentNext Summary: In August 2022, the Federal Circuit in Thaler v. Vidal held that U.S. patent law requires a “human” inventor. In 1884, the U.S. Supreme Court in Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony held that a human could be the “author” of a photograph. In both cases, a type of “machine” was used to produce an output. Namely, in Thaler a “creativity machine” (a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI)) output and conceived the subject matter of a patent application allegedly without human involvement. In Burrow-Giles a camera output (captured) a photograph, but with human involvement (i.e., the photographer selected and arranged the scene of the photograph). While the Thaler court found that a machine alone cannot be an inventor, it raised the possibility of AI-assisted inventorship that included human involvement (e.g., sole or joint inventorship). Future courts considering the issue of AI inventorship could find the 1884 case of Burrow-Giles instructive, where the photographer’s selection and arrangement for the scene of a photograph in 1884 provides a useful analogy to a modern-day human AI developer’s selection and arrangement of training data, hyperparameters, or other features typically required to train and/or use an AI model.
Continue Reading The Curious Case of Burrow-Giles Lithographic (an 1884 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving “new” camera technology), and how it could help Shape Today’s Thinking on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Inventorship

PatentNext Takeaway: The concept of the “Metaverse,” while decades old, is just starting to gain traction today. Early efforts to establish the Metaverse came from the video game industry. That is, as video games have become more modern, they are increasingly designed to have interactive virtual worlds, which is a hallmark of the Metaverse. Because of this, we can expect the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and courts to look to prior art and previous cases involving video game technology to decide Metaverse-related issues in the future. For the same reason, we can also use best practices for patenting software-related technologies (upon which video game technology relies) to prepare Metaverse-related patents.
Continue Reading Exploring the Metaverse and Patent-related topics